A homeowners exemption is a program that reduces property taxes for individuals who own and occupy their home as their primary residence. This is done by reducing the net taxable value of the home and up to one acre of land by half (up to a certain maximum). This maximum reduction is adjusted annually using the House Pricing Index for Idaho (HPI) published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (predecessor to the United State Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight).
Historical Max Reductions of the Homeowner's Exemption
|1983 to 2005||$50,000|
|1980 to 1982||$10,000|
How it Works
If a property's total assessed value is $150,000 in 2010, the homeowner's exemption would reduce the net taxable value to $75,000 - half of the total assessed value. In this example, the property owner would pay taxes on $75,000 instead of $150,000 if they have a homeowner's exemption. This could cut the property tax bill in half!
If a property's total assessed value is $300,000 in 2010, the homeowner's exemption would only reduce the net taxable value to $198,847. This is because half of the total assessed value is more than the maximum reduction for 2010. Instead of dividing the total assessed value by half, the maximum reduction is subtracted.
How & When to Apply
To qualify for a homeowners exemption, it is necessary to own and occupy the home as your primary residence. See Idaho Code 63-602G The application may be filed any time after you purchase, move in and make the home your primary residence. Please come to the Assessor's Office to apply as applications are not available online.
When the Homeowners Exemption Takes Affect
For the homeowner's exemption to take affect for the current year, you need apply for the homeowner's exemption prior to April 15th. Otherwise, the exemption will be scheduled to take affect the following year. If the previous owners had a homeowner's exemption, the exemption will remain active until the end of that calendar year. Partial year exemptions are only granted in the case of new construction (see below). This is because in Idaho, property taxes are calculated on the net taxable value. For this reason there must be a point in the year when the net taxable values are not allowed to change. Since homeowner's exemptions have a direct impact on the net taxable value, there must be a time of year when they may no longer be applied or removed from a property. This point in time for homeowner's exemptions is April 15th Idaho Code 63-602G(2)(a). Property owners must fill out the application in the Assessor's Office.
Maintaining Exempt Status
Once you qualify for this exemption, you do not have to re-apply unless you move or record a new deed. Even if you only change your name or even the spelling of your name and record a new deed to reflect these changes, you may need to re-apply for a homeowners exemption. This is because the Assessor has no way of knowing that these two different names belong to the same person.
Sometimes a new deed is recorded during a refinance and inadvertent changes to your name may happen. Always check on the status of your homeowner's exemption after refinancing.
The assessment notice will indicate if there is a homeowner's exemption on a property. For most types of properties, assessment notices are mailed in May. The net taxable value on that notice will be used to calculate the taxes on the bill that is mailed the following December. If the total assessed value matches the net taxable value, there is not an active homeowners exemption for that year. If the homeowner's exemption (or anything else) is incorrect on the assessment notice, contact the Assessor before the deadline printed at the top. If there is ever any doubt about the status of a homeowner's exemption, please contact the Assessor's office using the email address above.
If your home is newly constructed and no one has ever lived in the home prior to you, the April 15th deadline does not apply. However, application must be made prior to the annual Occupancy Roll at the end of the year. Otherwise, the homeowners exemption will take affect the following tax year. For more information on new construction taxes see What is an Occupancy tax FAQ.
Trusts & LLCs
If you place your home in a Trust or LLC, you may need to reapply for a homeowners exemption. It is also necessary to provide the Assessor's office with documentation stating who is in control of the Trust of LLC per Idaho Code 63-703(4). The easiest way to do this is bring all of your Trust or LLC documents to the Assessor's office. Staff will only make copies of the pages necessary to comply with Idaho code.